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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Leroy F Searle
Seattle Campus

Western Civilization III

Introduction to ideas and society in Western Civilization. For University Honors Program students only.

Class description

Ηonors 253 C: A Natural History of Reading Prof. Leroy Searle TTh1:30-3:20 MGH 228

This course will examine the activity of reading as an essential component of learning and inquiry in several arenas. The course will be broadly structured by examining a set of historical tropes pertaining to ‘The Book’—or, more specifically, the Book of God, the Book of Nature, and the productions of Man. The course will examine work in literature, philosophy, and science, with sections on art, photography, and architecture. The texts below, which will comprise the core of the reading for the course, will be supplemented by a course reader and additional visual materials available on a course website.


The Bible (King James version) The Qu’ran (Abdullah Jusuf Ali translation) Gerald Holton: Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought James Gleick: Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman Lee Smollin: The Trouble with Physics Charles Sanders Peirce: The Essential Peirce, vol 1 William Blake: Complete Poetry and Prose William Faulkner: Light in August

The reader will contain essays and other materials by: Plato: Phaedrus Johannes Kepler: The Six-Sided Snowflake Samuel Taylor Coleridge: selections from Biographia Literaria and The Friend Louis Sullivan: Selections from Autobiography of an Idea and Kindergarten Chats Nathan Lyons: Selections from Photographers on Photography

At the end of the quarter, there will be a small conference on the topic of the course, with several guests invited from other departments and universities for two days of presentations and discussions.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Leroy F Searle
Date: 03/26/2010